(cross-posted from tpm)
The Administration released a new report yesterday that it enrolled an additional 1.9 million beneficiaries in Medicare Part D last month, bringing the total number of enrollees to around 27 million. But the many mechanisms through which seniors receive prescription drugs is deceiving, so I'm going to flush out the numbers a bit further. (I'm mostly working from this Kaiser issue brief, refer to it if you want to get really in depth.) Because while 27 million enrollees receive coverage somehow, only 7.2 million of the 22.9 million eligible to voluntarily sign up for coverage have now done so. And of the 27 million HHs is citing, only 26% of the enrollees have voluntarily signed up for stand-alone coverage. Further, the polling on Part D is getting worse.
The first thing you need to know to put these
numbers in context is that there are 43 million people eligible for
drug coverage under Medicare Part D. So with the current enrollment
numbers, around 63% of Medicare enrollees now have prescription drug
coverage coming from somewhere.*
(*somewhere is key here -- 11.1 million enrollees get their drug coverage from a source other than Medicare.)
Next, you have the "dual eligibles" (those enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid), who were automatically enrolled in a plan. There are 5.8 million dual eligibles.